December 8, 2011 in Sports



Accepted Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora accepted an offer to become North Carolina’s next football coach, two people familiar with the situation said Wednesday. They said the framework of a deal is in place, although it isn’t final yet. Fedora guided the 22nd-ranked Golden Eagles (11-2) to a school record for wins.

Ended Negotiations between Arizona State and SMU football coach June Jones broke down at the last second, leaving Jones’ agent perplexed. Agent Leigh Steinberg said on his Twitter feed that everything was set, with only few tweaks left, and the principal decision-maker pulled the deal with no real explanation. Arizona State had no comment, but Chief Operating Officer Steve Patterson told Houston TV station KRIV that Jones would not be the Sun Devils’ coach.

Selected Baylor’s exciting dual-threat quarterback, Robert Griffin III, was selected as The Associated Press’ Big 12 offensive player of the year. A leading contender in what is expected to be a tight Heisman Trophy race, Griffin was unquestionably the Big 12’s top offensive player.

Honored Former All-Star catcher Tim McCarver, who discovered a second career as a folksy announcer known for explaining the game in exacting detail, won the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence.

• Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly has won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top collegiate lineman. Kuechly, who leads the nation with 191 tackles this season, beat out Alabama linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower and Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin for the award.

• Illinois junior Whitney Mercilus won the Hendricks Award given to the nation’s best defensive end. Mercilus leads the nation in sacks and forced fumbles.

Died Oregon State says freshman football player Fred Thompson has died. School officials say the 19-year-old Thompson was playing basketball on campus when he collapsed. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Thompson, 6-foot-4 and 317 pounds, was a true freshman defensive tackle from Richmond, Calif.

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